If you’re remotely into software development, you’ll have probably already have heard of this already. If you have not, you need to check it out right bloody now and bask in something that’s going to blow your socks off even if they’re glued to your feet:
The mere fact that this is possible indicates that we’re heading towards another threshold moment with software development. The first one for me was when I switched – out of choice – from assembly language to C for the vast majority of my software development. Up until, oh, ’92/’93, the memory and performance hit from developing most games in C was utterly prohibitive. Indeed, for the Amiga 500 type machines, the baggage associated with using C was so vast that entire genres were utterly impossible without hand-coded, hand-optimised 68000 assembly language. 512K didn’t go far. Then, something amazing happened: the compilers got good. Whilst this was going on, target machines got faster and gained more memory. To top it off, though, processors started to get so darn complex with their fetch-execute pipeline, out-of-order execution and cache management that, well, frankly, the compilers generally did a better job than I could.
Whilst I didn’t celebrate kissing goodbye to an assembler as my primary development tool, I probably should have. Life became much, much easier when I stepped up to a higher level language. When I moved up to C++ in the naughties, things became easier once again. Now, I could manage programs of a size that I’d never before imagined with ease. Recently, playing around with Objective C and the Cocoa Apple stuff I’ve seen another step change that had managed to completely pass me by until now. Creating applications with beautiful user interfaces and rich functionality is so much easier than it was on the PC that I kept thinking “hey, it can’t be this easy, surely.” The best bit, though, was that the development tools were a sheer pleasure to use! I was up and running in no time and even when moving from major version to major version the transition has been straightforward. It’s refreshing to see that a user-interface can be completely revised and updated without using fucking Ribbons and other such witchcraft that ensures that you’ll never find anything ever again. Microsoft Word is dead to me now, dead.
- That emulated virtual CPU can run an operating system
- He built the drivers necessary to build Linux on it, which he then did
In the meanwhile, the “good riddance” department is fluffing up the cushions of despair and opening the consolation brandy of endless toil ready for Flash to turn up – and not a moment too soon.